Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Didn’t Your Mother Ever Tell You Not to Share?

            The Jewish mentality was to share in the blessings God bestowed on them.  This is especially prevalent when the Jews gathered on the day of Pentecost and were sharing their belongings with each other and selling goods to help others (Acts 2:44-45).  Based on this mentality, a Scripture that says quite the opposite is shocking.  Hear this wisdom, “Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well. Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be for yourself alone, and not for strangers with you” (Proverbs 5:15–17, ESV).  In other words, get your own water, a seemingly counterintuitive statement in the Bible.

            When children play together and there are toys involved, it seems almost a given that there will arise some level of conflict.  With my brothers and me that level often reached fists to determine who got to play with what and for how long.  Many things in life are to be shared and our parents let us know in a hurry that we could either share or endure their wrath!  What the Proverb is pointing out is one of those things in life that is not to be shared by anyone else.  Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love. Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?” (Proverbs 5:18–20).

            How often to people think they can “get away with sin” because they assume nobody will ever know?  This is the seed question that Satan plants in our minds.  With adultery, Satan will convince that you can hide it from others and you will never be found out.  Do not be fooled.  Hear the rest of the wise man’s advice, For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and he ponders all his paths. The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin. He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is led astray” (Proverbs 5:21–23).  God knows and cares about our every move.  He loves you unconditionally and wants your discipline in obeying him.  So, draw water from your own well and do not share.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

To Hate Discipline and Despise Reproof

    Who likes or liked being spanked…nobody?  Shocking!  I hated the stinging sensation on the rear end because of that ‘ole oak paddle.  The older and wiser people become, the more they can appreciate discipline and reproof.  Obviously discipline and reproof change their appearance to fit the age and nature of the incident, but nonetheless they come in many facets of life.  It takes a special soul to wake-up in the morning and pray that discipline and reproof come on them.  I do not ever recall having requested this other than from the pulpit if I say something that is out of line with the Scriptures.  Discipline and reproof are not supposed to be pleasant.  If we can learn to take them as a learning experience and grow from them, we can have a much more fruitful life.

    If we let our guard down as Christians, Satan will not waste time to make his bed in our minds.  He will begin to twist lies in order to make them seem true.  Consider Solomon’s wisdom, And now, O sons, listen to me, and do not depart from the words of my mouth. Keep your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house, lest you give your honor to others and your years to the merciless, lest strangers take their fill of your strength, and your labors go to the house of a foreigner, and at the end of your life you groan, when your flesh and body are consumed, and you say, ‘How I hated discipline, and my heart despised reproof!’” (Proverbs 5:7–12, ESV).  You can appreciate discipline and reproof without necessarily liking them.  If you cannot appreciate them now, prepare for a world of eternal discipline and reproof…Hell.

    When we do not heed discipline and shun reproof, many horrible outcomes are possible.  To be narrow-minded to correction truly exemplifies a stubborn heart.  Even Jesus sat at the feet of teachers growing in wisdom and stature (Luke 2:46, 52)!  We should certainly be willing to do the same.  I did not listen to the voice of my teachers or incline my ear to my instructors. I am at the brink of utter ruin in the assembled congregation.” (Proverbs 5:13–14).  Listening to teachers, parents, and mentors to grow in wisdom is one of the best things we can do.  Take the words of the wise father to heart and stay as far from sin as possible.